On the study of thermal comfort and perceptions of environmental features in urban parks: A structural equation modeling approach

S. Y. Chan, Chi Kwan Chau, T. M. Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


In addition to microclimatic and physiological factors, the psychological impacts due to perception of amount of environmental features present in parks and the immediate visibility of park features on thermal comfort and thermal acceptability have been revealed in this study. 1000 valid questionnaire survey responses together with the microclimatic conditions monitored concurrently inside three urban parks in Hong Kong were used to formulate path models for revealing the interrelationships among factors affecting thermal comfort and thermal acceptability. Microclimatic conditions displayed an indirect relationship with thermal comfort via thermal sensation (Summer: Pearson correlation r = −0.297, Winter: r = 0.309). Thermal comfort and thermal acceptability were determined to be directly affected by the thermal sensation of an individual. Thermal comfort in parks in summer could be improved if more trees, water ponds, or shade provisions were perceived to be present in parks (r = 0.142, 0.084 and 0.060). The thermal acceptability of park visitors in summer could be improved by having more trees, water ponds, or shade provisions visible in the immediate vicinity (r = 0.115, 0.088 and 0.042). However, significant correlations between the amount of environmental features perceived to be present in parks and thermal comfort were observed only for summer but not for winter. The findings arising from this study should provide valuable insights for improving the thermal environment in urban parks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-183
Number of pages13
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Outdoor environment
  • Thermal acceptability
  • Thermal comfort
  • Urban parks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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